I met Ben Ruffin
on a golf course. We were paired together in a charity event. I knew his name and his involvement with the UNC Board of Governors and bit of his histroy.
But I really got to know him after I hit my driver 40 degrees left of the fairway deep into the woods on the second hole. "Well, he said, "You got ahold of that one and might be able to find it". Then, Ben took over the tee box and crushed a shot down the fairway without much hesitation. "Alright!, he said, "Let's see what we can do! I had a good putt on that hole, but I liked his passion.
Two things happened after that tee shot. First, Ben continued to be positive, passionate, reinforcing the value of the other players and was a great guy to talk with throughout the day. Second, Ben provided regular commentary--he fixed my swing, and the two other players swings throughout the other 16 holes, moved grips, ball positions, you name it!!
I have to admit, though, he was more right than wrong on his swing tips and I really had a great time. Anyway, Ben will be missed. He was a great leader for North Carolina and I'm glad I was able to spend that one afternoon with him.